Groups share £80,000 ‘warm hand’ funding

NEARLY £80,000 has been shared among almost 30 Inverclyde groups to support events and activities to help local people stay warm this winter.

One-off grants of up to £3,000 have been made available through Inverclyde Council’s Warm Hand of Friendship scheme, which is being administered by CVS Inverclyde. 

The initiative is designed to support local organisations to provide residents with access to ‘warm spaces’, food and warm items of clothing during the winter months.

A total of 29 grants worth just under £80,000 have now been made available to a range of groups, including community centres, uniformed organisations, churches and sports clubs, to put on a variety of events and activities to help people who may be struggling with the cost of living crisis.

Councillor Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde Council, said: “The impact of the cost of living crisis has really hit home over the last week or so with the prolonged, bitterly cold weather that will undoubtedly be putting an additional strain on household budgets that are already under severe pressure.

“We don’t want anyone to struggle alone and be forced to choose between heating or eating or to have to go without either.

“That’s why the Inverclyde’s Warm Hand of Friendship initiative was set up, to provide safe and warm environments for people to go within their own local area to simply escape the cold, pick up something nutritious to eat, access practical advice and support to cope with bills and increasing costs, or all of the above.

“While funding is being provided by the council for this initiative, credit must go to our incredible partners across the community and third sector for once again stepping up to the mark to provide venues, events and activities to support some of the most vulnerable in society and offering them a much-needed helping hand this winter.”

The warm hand of friendship scheme includes a warm spaces and activities map, financial support leaflet, and ‘warm boxes’ containing items to help the most vulnerable in society.

Vicki Cloney, partnerships facilitator at CVS Inverclyde, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be administering this fund on behalf of Inverclyde Council. Charities and voluntary groups in Inverclyde are at the heart of our communities and are reaching people most in need.

“The services and activities third sector groups have created with the Warm Hand of Friendship fund are a lifeline to many in Inverclyde who are struggling with the cost of living crisis.

“We encourage anyone who is struggling right now to use the resources to find a service or activity and see what support is available. 

Warm hand of friendship launch. Pictured are Councillor Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde Council, and Vicki Cloney, partnership facilitator at CVS Inverclyde.
Inverclyde Council's Warm Hand of Friendship initiative in partnership with CVS Inverclyde. Pictured is council leader, Councillor Stephen McCabe, with Vicki Cloney, from CVS, launching the initiative. 

“We also want to once more emphasise the pressures and challenges facing the third sector due to the impact of the cost of living crisis. There’s lots Inverclyde residents can do, if they’re able, to support these groups including donating, fundraising or volunteering.”

A £360,000 package of anti-poverty measures was approved by the council last month to provide additional support to families and households this winter.

This includes £100,000 for the Warm Hand of Friendship initiative, which has received a further £30,000 from the health and social care partnership budget to deliver the ‘warm boxes’.

For more information about Inverclyde’s Warm Hand of Friendship, visit


Inverclyde Warm Hand of Friendship Small Grants




Amount awarded

Kilmacolm Primary School Parent Partnership Group

A child led enterprise initiative underpinned by kindness, the children of KPS will curate and create ‘warm boxes’. This will include items that would support physical warmth and the children would also write a letter to include in each box. These letters providing warmth in a less literal form, however often even more impactful.


32nd Greenock Scouts

The 32nd Greenock Scouts will open their premises for young people in the area starting with an extra evening per week. The grant will be used to bring in first aid trainers and supply board games and snacks (and heating costs).



1st Gourock Scouts

The 1st Gourock Scouts will provide additional activity for a mix of ages. Drop in café for all ages for soup, hot rolls, sandwiches, and a warm space through the Winter months. The final drop-in sessions of the month would feature Bingo or an afternoon movie using our cinema set up.



Man On Inverclyde

‘Heat and eat’ from their wellbeing hub, located at 30 Nelson Street, Greenock. Provision of a safe, non-judgmental space for anyone in the community to come by between the hours of 9.30am-1.30pm for a warm space, something to eat and access to the added support of their wellbeing workers. Anyone attending will be encouraged to take the time to charge their mobiles/laptops if required and are welcome to stay as long as they want during the drop-in hours.



Inverclyde Association for Mental Health

Warm Space for older people who are living alone, without family, perhaps being widowed, or new to the country/area in Broomhill Community Hub for a warm meal and some light activities, once a week.



Inverkip Community Initiative

The Inverkip Community Hub Café are offering a free comfortable heated space with TV, Computer, and Wi-Fi internet access and will include teas, coffees/biscuits, and soup. Signpost users to other activities in the hub with information on other activities that will also help people stay in the Hub outwith the Café hours.



Inverclyde Community Development Trust

Creating social spaces for people to attend to take part in activities, socialise and get warm from one of our buildings either Westburn Building in Greenock and the John Wood Street office in Port Glasgow.

Various activities such as books, games and social opportunities to encourage friendships and use of the spaces as a place for gathering.



Westburn Parish Church

A warm area from 11am to 2pm every Wednesday with free tea and coffee and warm soup from 12pm to 1.30pm.

People can meet for a chat in a warm environment where all are welcome.



Gourock Park Bowling Club

A warm friendly environment for senior citizens and those in need of support and companionship. To open on various days throughout the week for teas, soup and snacks to the local community. Offer bingo, videos and for the adventurous, crazy golf and table games. The activity will be supported by volunteers from their membership.



Auchmountain Hall

Warm boxes for the East End of Greenock community made up to suit each individual or family’s need. Expand the current clothing bank and offer user a free hot drink and roll.



Financial Fitness

Financial Fitness are already seeing a marked increase in enquiries from Inverclyde residents affected by the ongoing energy situation and general cost of living crisis. To increase their capacity to support local people, Financial Fitness are providing an additional telephone triage service to allow said individuals to receive telephone advice as quickly as possible. They will double the triage support to 2 days per week, which will enable them to provide 20 additional days-worth of advice and support for Inverclyde residents worried about the current energy and cost-of-living situation. This would result in 150 new clients receiving telephone triage advice over the period of the grant, enabling them to receive approximately £50,000 worth of financial outcomes due to telephone triage advice (via successful welfare benefit claims)



Greenock Torpedo Factory Club

This group will open their club to provide soup, snacks, and warm drinks to the local community. The club is based centrally between Riverside Gardens, the senior citizens flats (warden controlled) and Eastern View which has a majority of older folks, senior citizens, and single occupancy flats. They are keen to provide a warm, friendly, welcoming environment for senior citizens and those in particular need of support and companionship. They will offer a range of activities and interests such as bingo, quizzes, children’s visits, films, talks and for the more active - snooker and table games. They will also provide “soup and a blether” sessions.



Clune Park Resource Centre

The group will provide a warm bowl of soup and a blether to the participants in their parent & toddler groups, offering them a warm space to socialize and have something to eat. The older people using the centre would also be welcome. The group are also going to offer warm boxes to the older people and lone parents who attend the centre.


Branchton Community Centre

Branchton Community Centre will open the Centre at times not currently being offered and provide activities and food to help people who may be looking for a warm place to go and who may be looking for some food and provisions to help their family.

The additional hours will be Tuesdays and Thursdays – 3pm to 9pm


On all of those days we are planning to provide dinners at a reduced rate or possibly for free. We will also provide a range of activities and classes including; 

• Cookery classes

• Money advice

• IT training

• Family activities (arts, crafts etc) 

• Sports (Keep fit, table tennis etc)

• We will also extend the opening hours of our shop which offers free Fareshare food alongside heavily discounted household items.


Beacon Arts Centre (Greenock Arts Guild LTD)

The Beacon Arts Centre would like to offer a Dance for Parkinson Scheme over Winter 2022, which is a programme that has been shown to alleviate some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Participants will come to the Beacon once a week for a facilitated dance session and a social café where warm drinks and simple refreshments will be offered. This provides time for socialisation and peer support and participants are welcomed to stay as long as they’d like to enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere at the Beacon Arts Centre.


Home-Start Renfrewshire and Inverclyde

Each of their current 6 groups for families that they support will have their times extended by 30 minutes and a meal will be provided, guaranteeing the parents attending these groups receive at least one hot meal that day. These groups run weekly. They will also offer to cover the travel costs for their service users if they are experiencing financial difficulties.



I FiT Inverclyde Faith in Throughcare

Warm Boxes including flasks, quilt cover, hot water bottle, scarfs, gloves, warm hat and where appropriate have an option to top up people’s electricity/gas meter in an emergency.

- Cover Additional rent costs

- Provide hot beverages and some food if a venue can be secured. If not, this money will go towards the first two activities



Greenock Baptist Church

Warm Spaces Café – Offering soup, sandwiches, and tea/coffee (free).  This would be a new group offering a welcoming space for people to meet and socialise. As well as the free lunch, we would also have board games available for people to play.  Our café area seats 24 people and we aim to fill it. 

Walking Football – a new group for men who are over 50 years of age. The football would run for 45 mins followed by another 45 mins in our café area where hot and cold drinks would be provided. 

This will provide a warm space for men to meet and engage in some physical activity as well as socialise afterwards.


Inverkip Church

Providing soup/roll/tea/coffee/home baking/activities each week in warm church lounge. Supporting anyone in the local community, particularly aimed at older people.



Lyle Gateway

We run a drop in café 2 days a week. The warm space day will have free food/hot drinks and we will provide access to electrical points for people to recharge things like phones, tables, battery banks etc.

This will also be a place you can along and make new friendships, take part in physical activities, board games, watch films together or simply just enjoy being in the company of others, in a warm, relaxing and inviting place.



St Patrick’s RC Church

St Patrick’s RC Church will provide soup, sandwiches, teas, coffees in their warm church hall. This is with the intention of providing a warm space, reducing stigma, reducing isolation and integrate the foodbank into the wider community.



Hope Community Church

We will be in offering a warm space for people to come during times when the winter will really bite. We aim to offer a free bowl of soup, bread, tea or coffee and some snack in an environment that will be friendly and welcoming.

Social spaces will be open to them for private chats, for people to play games and just for others who may want their own individual space.

If needed, we will point them to council workers more advanced in areas where they might need support.

From this venture, we hope that those using it would become friends, they might even make new friends and have a brighter outlook.




We will provide a warm space one day per week to families currently accessing our service and this would include tea, coffee and soup/sandwiches. This would allow them to have a warm space aimed at reducing their rising utility bills and providing warm food drinks.                                                                                                                   

We have a pantry group which is facilitated one day per week and will run for approximately 4hours and food is provided from our food share (at no cost).                                                                                      

We would like to offer families who use our service and that are in hardship support with their gas and electricity to take additional worries away at Christmas time and beyond. We would also be offering those families in hardship food parcels/food vouchers to allow them to keep the whole family fed over the Christmas period and beyond also.                                                                                                                                                                                   



Kayos Theatre Group

Kayos will be working on a play as part of the National Theatre Connections Festival which will be a first for Kayos and in addition to our usual activities of workshops and producing plays and musicals. The group recognises that financial difficulties may be a barrier to participation for some young people, which is worsened by the current financial climate. Likewise, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have had a significant impact on confidence and resilience of young people in Inverclyde. This programme will offer a free opportunity to engage in new activities within a warm space. They will offer food and drinks during the breaks at rehearsals which is something that they have not previously been able to do.

The activity will bring together young people aged 15-25 from various areas of Inverclyde with different backgrounds and who attend different schools, colleges and universities to work together and to create memories and lasting friendships. It will also help with the cost-of-living crisis by bringing young people together in a safe and warm space and provide them with food and drinks.

This warm activity will provide young people with an opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves, while building confidence and connections.



Wellington Park Bowling Club

The club intends to organise and run an afternoon bingo session midweek and also a weekend bingo session for people who may have other commitments during the week. These sessions will be open to people of all ages (18 & above) and accessible to people who suffer from mental or physical conditions also – from members, friends, family members and the general public. The club will provide hot tea, coffee and Bovril as well as platters of sandwiches, home baking and biscuits. We would hope to have approx. 30-40 people attend these bingo sessions which would almost fill our facility to full capacity. There will be no additional or entry costs for the people involved or for those taking part.


The other project the club wishes to begin is a Bowls & Blether Day and evening. This would consist of indoor bowls played on an indoor carpet. We would hope to attract current members but also new members to come and take part in a fun-filled 2-hour session of indoor carpet bowls. Inviting your best friend or someone you think would like to come along and enjoy the peaceful settings that would allow you to catch up with friends, meet new friends and have the physical aspect of having a short game of indoor bowls on the carpet. These sessions would have a maximum of 20 players but we also have extra seating accommodation that would allow people who may not want to participate in a game but the chance to sit down and speak and meet new people in a happy environment which is welcoming and safe for everyone and anyone to use and enjoy.






Amount awarded

Inverclyde Leisure - Auchmead Road

The Grant will be to provide free soft play admission with teas and coffees for parents. The sessions will run on a Wednesday morning providing somewhere warm for families to go. The sessions can accommodate 21 people from 10-11 and then a further 21 from 11-12.


Inverclyde Leisure – Lady Octavia Sports Centre

The centre will provide a free bouncy castle for children with teas and coffees for parents. The sessions will be 2 hours long and are anticipated to be every Friday.



Hamilton Bardrainney Kirk

Located in Upper Port Glasgow, this church will aim to help pensioners, those who live alone and people on low-income people in our community by providing food, companionship and a warm place to meet. Additionally, participants will receive some groceries and supplies to take home.


Once the church understands the needs of the people joining the sessions, the church plans to invite local organisations and groups to offer support and advice to participants. The church hopes to continue the cafe after March 2023 to offer a place to go to throughout the years ahead that provides a place of friendship and comfort.


St Patrick’s Primary School PTA


The school plans to spend grant monies to allow purchase of equipment, resources, and fresh ingredients to facilitate our venture of Broth and a Blether.  Because the school is situated in an area considered high deprivation, they will open the school the first Friday of every month to enable parents/carers/grandparents and pupils to access a very warm welcome in the school canteen. This welcome will include access to peer support, an opportunity to access our warm winter clothes and uniform share initiative, as well as access to hot soup, bread, beverages, biscuits, and the possibility to take away fresh veg soup packs, with accompanying recipes. They will also offer frozen soup in containers to be heated at home. They aim to cater for 90 people (pupils and family members) each month and hope to open up St Patrick’s Primary as a warm beacon of hope and friendship in the coming months whilst offering practical help.




Total no. groups: 29

Total funding: £79,041